School board hears newest safety proposal

On Tuesday, the Lincoln Board of Education held a discussion over another school safety proposal–this one by Councilwoman Leirion Gaylor Baird and School Board President Lonny Boswell.

It is similar to the JPA plan, which includes the mayor, Lincoln Public Schools and law enforcement, in that it would add police officers–or SROs–to schools and increase funding for community learning centers.

But unlike the JPA, it would not create a joint committee with authority to levy taxes.

Gaylor Baird said funding would come from the general fund without raising taxes.

That’s not the only difference.

"The proposal includes funding for an additional social worker who could coordinate behavioral and mental health services for students in need and also additional dollars for contracting with local therapists and agencies that provide behavioral and mental health services for children," Gaylor Baird said.

Although several board members said they prefer the JPA plan, some who testified said they should give more consideration for this interlocal proposal.

"Right now, if we want to look at the Lincoln Safe and Successful Kids initiative, you have the money to fund it right now," said Brad Beam of Lincoln.

Others said they’re concerned about some of the wording.

"A lack of details in this MOU could compound problems for students, such as African American students and other students of color who face marginalization in our country," NAACP Lincoln President Jeanette Jones Vazansky.

Gaylor Baird said this is just a draft of their proposal and they may change it as people give them feedback.